Bob Parks | Writer & Editor | Brattleboro, Vermont


As a longtime fan of outsider technology, I write books and magazine articles about the fascinating personalities behind talented inventors, designers, and energy innovators who are often as peculiar as they are passionate. By "outsiders," I'm thinking of technologists who are formally untrained in their area of interest and who may work outside typical geographic business clusters. Over the course of my writing career, I've realized that such innovators don't usually have a big impact; it would be far more expedient for companies to convene engineers and designers with advanced degrees than to trawl makerspaces. Traditional experts, however, often begin from predominant academic and professional models and move forward in an iterative fashion. I like the outsiders because they surprise us, and their solutions can sometimes win the day.

My work in publications started as an editor for Wired magazine, directing sections on new technologies and design. After that, we moved from the Bay Area to Vermont, where I have freelanced as a feature writer for Wired, Popular Science, Outside, Runner's World, Businessweek, and other publications since 2002. I also provide content strategy consulting to renewable energy businesses as well as write educational curricula for the STEM and STEAM fields. Outside of work, I have nurtured my interest in writing by serving as president of the Brattleboro Literary Festival, a classic Vermont event that attracts top authors and thousands of visitors every year.

Home is southern Vermont, where I share an old farmhouse with my wife, son, and daughter. Our property once consisted of a large 19th-century chicken coop among outbuildings. Over the years, various owners renovated the site into an attractive residence, and since we've owned it, all our DIY work has returned it to its original condition—chicken coop.